Your vehicle is worth whatever somebody will pay you for it!
Like it or not, it's true. The answer is not a flip response to the question, but the only answer possible until you know the buyer group that you choose to buy your vehicle. Your first goal should be to determine which buyer group you are targeting and then to rephrase the question so that it includes your target buyer group.
Your vehicle is valued differently by the three primary groups who buy used cars. Let's take a look at the three different groups of buyers, how to market your vehicle to each group and the amount of time and effort required if you are to realize the best sale price to each group. Generally speaking, the higher the value you are seeking for your automobile, the more time, energy and aggravation you will need to expend to reach your desired outcome.
Once you know the buyer group you are willing to target, you can turn to the question of how much cash you should expect from a sale of the vehicle and how to determine that value.
The 3 primary groups of buyers of used vehicles include: retail auto dealers, private parties and wholesale auto dealers. First, we'll take a look at the difference between the groups and then turn to the expected sale price for each group.
Retail Auto Dealers
Wholesale Auto Dealers
Private Party Buyer
Whether you are selling privately, trading in to a dealer, selling to a wholesale buyer or just plain curious about what your car is worth, it is important to know how to get an accurate valuation. Fortunately, there is no shortage of websites devoted to providing this information. As you will see later in this post, there is a great deal of variation in the pricing that comes from each of the sites listed below. This is partly due to the methodology used by each to produce their pricing models. Keep in mind that most derive a substantial if not lion's share of their revenue from Retail Auto Dealer advertising and paid inclusion in listings on the site. It's best to keep an open mind and do a lot of sleuthing at each site to determine how relevant and accurate their data really is.
When using these sites it's equally important to be as accurate as possible about the condition of your vehicle. Otherwise, you are walking away with an unrealistic valuation for your vehicle and you will expend a great deal of energy and aggravation trying to sell your car for an unrealistic price.
In no particular order of importance some of the more popular sites include: Edmund's TrueMarketValue, Kelley Blue Book, Cars.com powered by Black Book, RPM's Fair Value and NADAguides Used Car Values. Our personal favorites include Black Book and Edmund's. Our experience has taught us that the prices obtained from these two sites will provide you with the most relevant pricing data.
Pricing Models Put to the Test
We decided to test drive the 5 sites listed above to learn how they compared to each other in terms of valuing a popular used car. For our test, we chose a 2010 Honda Accord LX Model 4DR 4 Cylinder Automatic with no extra equipment and 60,000 miles in a white color. We used the zip code of our office location which is 94607 and we conducted our survey on May 12, 2015. Here's what we learned.
Understanding the Price
Regardless of the websites you use to appraise your vehicle, you will be given some valuable information to help you make an informed decision of which sales method best suits your personal lifestyle and temperament. If you visit all 5 listed above, a very clear picture of your used vehicle's valuation will begin to emerge. With a clear and honest assessment of your vehicle's condition and a range of prices such as those shown above, a clear path to selling your old car will begin to emerge.
When you know the buyer group you are going to target and are equipped with a realistic understanding of what it takes to market your vehicle to each of the three groups, you will be able to know the answer to the question; "What's my car Worth?"
It's Easy To Be Real
Getting a realistic valuation for your used car is key to what you do next. Whether you choose to sell to a private party, trade it in, sell to a wholesale dealer or even keeping it for a while longer, having knowledge gives you the power to make the intelligent choice for your personal situation. By being honest about your vehicle's condition, you'll have a clear-eyed assessment of your car's real worth, not a number based on guesswork and high hopes.
Selling a vehicle with an existing lien is not difficult but it does add an additional step or two to the process. It’s best to know the ins and outs of this type of transaction before you get started with any sale. Most importantly, you’ll want to avoid the 5 common mistakes listed below!
The first step in preparing yourself for the sale of a vehicle with an existing loan balance is to contact the lender and speak with an agent. Ask her to provide a 10 day payoff. 10 days is the standard length of time quoted in payoffs because it takes time to locate a buyer and get the payment to the lender. Ask the lender’s agent for the payment types accepted, how they prefer to receive payment, the necessary paperwork required and if they hold a physical title or an electronic title.
Armed with the 10 day payoff, compare the outstanding loan balance to the expected sale value of your used vehicle. Learn how to properly price your vehicle. If you owe more than a realistic sale price for the vehicle (negative equity), you’ll want to carefully consider your options. At this stage, it’s critical to avoid a situation where emotions cloud your marketing strategy. Otherwise, you might find yourself in a situation where the payoff becomes the tail wagging the dog! The outstanding loan balance on your vehicle is not the market value of your vehicle. If you owe more than the car is currently worth, you are either going to come out of pocket with the difference or delay selling the car until the opposite is true.
5 Mistakes to Avoid
Allowing a dealer to roll the negative equity into a new car loan: If your credit is strong and you have a good amount of income, a new car dealer will find a way to sell you a new car. They may “offer” to pay off your existing loan and can even make it appear on paper that they have paid you the full amount of the outstanding loan balance. Nothing could be further from the truth. Your car’s value to a dealer is lower than it is to a private party. They might be able to make you feel good about the transaction and even have you believing that you are making the right decision. But is this really in your best interest? Most likely it is not. A new vehicle depreciates as much as 30% in the first year. If you owe more on your current vehicle than the private party value it is because you bought it when you could not afford it and are now trying to do the same thing again. A year from now the new vehicle loan balance will be further away from its’ market value than your current vehicle. Of course there are always exceptions to any rule. Try to avoid this situation most of the time but go into it with very open eyes if your personal situation dictates buying a new vehicle as a necessity.
Assuming that a trade-in is your only sales option: Owing money on a vehicle is a common situation. As many as 60% of new cars leave dealer inventory with a loan. Just because you have a lien on your car does not mean you have to trade it to a dealer. You will always sell a car for more cash if you sell it privately than if you trade it to a dealer. It will take a little longer and will require a bit of effort if you sell it yourself but your patience and determination will be rewarded.
Offering to let someone take over payments: Automobile loans all carry a due on sale clause. Taking over a loan payment or a lease payment is an urban legend that originated in the days of assumable mortgage loans on real estate. You might be able to “fool” your bank by letting someone else make the payments on your loan but the obligation still belongs to you as does the need for you to insure the vehicle. In fact, the person taking over the loan would not be able to obtain an insurance policy since they do not have an insurable interest (don’t legally own the vehicle). If someone wants the car, they will need to obtain their own loan or pay you cash.
Accepting a cashier's check for payment: If someone gives you a fraudulent or stolen form of payment for your vehicle and you turn it over to the lender or pay the loan balance with personal funds, you are the person who is left holding the bag. The lender is not going to release the lien and relinquish the title until the payment has completely cleared.
Releasing the title without first paying off the loan: Many states (New York and Michigan are two) record a lien on the title and then send the title to the registered owner (you). A common fraudulent scheme in these states is to give the seller a fraudulent form of payment and ask for the title to the vehicle. They leave with the vehicle and the title never to be seen again. They continue the fraud when they forge a lien release and obtain a new title so that they can then resell the vehicle to an unsuspecting third party.
We buy cars from private parties nationwide. We never meet our sellers in person and commonly purchase vehicles with outstanding loan balances. One method we employ to protect ourselves is processing the entire transaction through the escrow company, Escrow.com. You too can use them when selling a vehicle. The protection you receive is well worth the additional cost of the transaction!
Whenever people get together in an occupation, hobby or other field of interest, they form a vocabulary unique to that field. This vocabulary is referred to as slang or jargon. Like any other subculture, their shared language serves to separate them from the rest of society, to unite them and to announce to one another that they belong.
If you are a baseball fan, you will be familiar with an announcer describing a play as a routine 4-6-3 Double Play. This play begins as a ground ball to the second baseman (4) who throws to the shortstop (6) covering second base who then throws the ball to the first baseman (3) for the second out. If you are a newcomer to the game, you will be unfamiliar with what the announcer has just told you. You are an outsider and the jargon used reinforces your feelings of being on the outside.
With this post, I hope to bring you inside the world of the automobile sales profession, to help you gain an understanding of just what the heck is being discussed the next time you buy an automobile. Let's peel back the curtain and take a look under the hood.
This post, Part 1, covers the Finance Department and Part 2 highlights the slang of the Sales Department
The Slang From the Finance Department
Mouse House: Finance Company used to boost a customer down payment in order to qualify for a bank loan on a vehicle purchase.
Sticks: Furniture. Typically a mouse house will require collateral on a loan so the customer's sticks are offered as the collateral.
Double Dip: When two sources of financing are used on a vehicle purchase, it is a double dip. If a customer requires additional down payment in order to qualify for the primary loan, a deal can be structured with a mouse house as a second loan source.
Note: The loan on a vehicle can be referred to as a note.
Tote the Note: Some dealers have an in-house finance company to make loans on automobiles. In this case, the dealer is said to tote the note
BHPH: Buy Here Pay Here. Refers to a dealership that totes the note and then accepts monthly or even weekly payments on the vehicle financed.
Tattoo: Refers to a dealer principal's signature on a finance contract. Fairly rare. Some dealers will guarantee payment (essentially acting as a co-pilot) to the lender in order to fund a vehicle purchase contract with an edgy buyer; We're going to have to tattoo the paper if we want to get this deal bought.
Co-Pilot: A person who signs a loan document (co-signer) with the purchaser of a vehicle when the primary buyer is edgy, has no prior credit, or limited down.
Paper: Refers to the finance contract or promissory note for the purchase of a vehicle.
Bought: Term used to refer to the act of obtaining lender approval on loan applications; I need to get yesterday's deals bought before I can go to lunch.
Unwind: Act of returning a sold vehicle to dealer inventory. Usually happens when the dealer has exhausted all possibilities of obtaining a loan for the buyer; You're going to have to unwind that deal because we aren't tattooing any more deals this month.
Five Finger Close: In reality this technique of document signing is more fiction than fact. More braggadocio than anything else. In it, the finance manager places a hand, hence the five fingers, over the form and points with the other hand to the area where the customer should sign the contract documents. The purpose of the hand over the forms is to hide the finance and trade amounts from the consumer. In the day to day world of the retail automobile industry it is more a saying that signifies to the finance manager that they should hurry through the signing process for any number of reasons. As an example; He's coming out from under the ether. Let's get him in the box and give him the five finger close.
Down: Down payment. Synonyms include down stroke and chunk of change.
Ether: Fog like blissful state entered into when a buyer reaches agreement on a car deal.
Back End: Dealer profits made through the F&I Department. These might include extended warranty, mop & glow, pre-paid service, etch-a-sketch, croak and choke, and dealer reserve.
Leg(s): Difference between true payment required to pay for an automobile purchase and the amount quoted to the consumer during the negotiation process. Often times, the consumer will agree to purchase a vehicle for far more than the true payment required for the purchase. When that happens, the F&I Department has a far easier job of selling back end products to the consumer. A customer can be told that everything was already included in the price for their benefit and since they have already agreed to the payment they are made to feel as if everything is free!
Nickel: $500. I packed a nickel into the deal is a phrase often told to the F&I Manager prior to delivering the consumer to the finance department. Many times this is accomplished by negotiating a payment with the consumer and never discussing the cash price or difference price of the transaction. In that situation, the consumer has agreed to pay $500 more than would have been required to purchase the vehicle.
Bureau: Credit report of the individual purchasing the vehicle.
5 Liner: The top five lines of a credit application. Often times during a negotiation to purchase a vehicle, the salesperson will ask the buyer to provide a 5 liner so that the dealer can then pull a bureau for the purposes of ascertaining the credit worthiness of the buyer.
Gold Balls: A buyer with a high credit score; This guy has gold balls.
Stud: Synonym for gold balls. Can also refer to the quality of a trade-in vehicle when it is in excellent condition and a desirable used car.
Edgy: A buyer with a very low credit score; This guy is edgy. Can also refer to an undesirable trade-in vehicle.
De-Horse: Removing a customer from their trade and asking them to leave the dealership in a borrowed car. Utilized when the vehicle being sold is unavailable for immediate delivery. This can be due to low customer credit score or inventory problem such as availability. The dealer will de-horse a customer if they want to exert some control over the customer but are unwilling or unable to spot deliver the customer purchase. This strategy helps the dealer gain some amount of control over the deal since the customer has to return to the dealership at a later date with the borrowed car.
Spot Delivery: The delivery to the customer of the vehicle they are purchasing right at the time of the sale. For a cash buyer this poses no risk to the dealer but if the customer is a finance buyer the dealer risks being unable to have the loan and the deal approved (by a lender) as written. The risk to the customer is that they must return to the dealership at a later date and renegotiate the purchase with either a greater down payment, different rate or length of contract.
Throw it Against the Wall: When the F&I Department is uncertain of obtaining finance approval for an edgy buyer or a young buyer without a co-pilot, they will sometimes spot deliver the vehicle and hope for approval the next day. In this instance, they will inform the sales manager that they intend to throw it against the wall and hope it sticks (is approved). More often than not, the dealership decides to tell the customer they will let them know of approval the next day and avoid a possible rollback when the deal is not approved by the lender.
House: The dealer or dealership place of business. Sometimes also called the store.
Kink: A problem deal or customer; The co-pilot has bad credit too. That throws a kink in the deal.
Pack(ed): The act of increasing the payment quoted to the customer in order to build additional profit in a deal. The sales department will add legs to the deal so that the F&I manager has an easier time selling back end products.
Straw Buyer: A buyer of a vehicle who is not the intended driver/user of a financed vehicle. This act is always in violation of lender policies with a dealer because the intended driver of the vehicle is usually unable to sustain or support the monthly cost of the vehicle due to poor credit and/or job stability. The lender would be unwilling to make a loan to the intended or real buyer of the vehicle and is defrauded into making a loan they would not normally accept.
Box: The F&I office, the place where legal documents are signed; Let's get him in the box before he comes out from under the ether.
F&I: Finance and Insurance Department in an automobile dealership.
Mop & Glow: Paint and fabric protectors.
Etch-A-Sketch: Chemical process that etches a theft recovery number into the glass of a vehicle.
Dealer Reserve: Also known as reserve Difference between the buy rate and the loan rate quoted on a finance contract. Recent Consumer Protection Laws in some states have sought to limit the amount of dealer reserve (or markup) that a dealer can pass on to the consumer and/or require the disclosure of the dealer reserve amount.
Reserve: See dealer reserve.
Buy Rate: The lowest rate at which a bank will loan money for a purchase contract on an automobile.
Croak & Choke: Life and disability insurance on a finance contract sold by a dealer F&I Department.
Cash Price: The total price of a vehicle including tax, license and registration fees. Sometimes referred to as the OTD (Out The Door) price.
Difference Price: The price after the trade-in ACV is subtracted from the cash price.
ACV: Actual Cash Value. This is the price that a dealer would be willing to pay you for your trade-in if there was no purchase of a vehicle involved.
Rollback: Synonym of unwind.
Rate Sheet: Each lender that works with an auto dealer publishes a list of interest rates, known as the buy rate, that they are willing to accept for an automobile loan contract. It changes with the age of the vehicle, miles, credit score of borrower, new or used and length of contract. This list is called the rate sheet for that lender and it changes frequently. In addition, it will inform the dealer the maximum reserve they are able to earn on each loan they write with that lender.
According to the most recent Auto Trader Automotive Buyer Influence Study, the average buyer spends 15.5 hours shopping online before completing a vehicle purchase. By the time they are ready to make a purchase, they know the year, make, model, miles and price they will have to pay for the vehicle they plan to purchase. If you expect to be successful with the sale of your used car you must possess the same information as the buyer and be prepared to use it to your advantage by pricing your vehicle right in the sweet spot of the market.
If your used car has been listed with any of the popular online classified services for more than one week and you are not receiving legitimate inquiries from buyers, then the asking price is most likely set too high. The invisible hand of the market is delivering a slap of common sense to you right now!
Vehicle pricing in the used car marketplace is driven by the supply and demand for a given model. Another less known factor known as substitution plays a vital role in determining the selling price of your used vehicle. You must consider not only how many Toyota Camrys are currently available but also any other reliable mid sized sedan that will substitute for the car you are selling. These models might include; Honda Accords, Hyundai Sonatas, Nissan Altimas, Ford Fusions, Mazda6s, Chrysler 200s, Subaru Legacys, Buick Regals, Chevy Malibus, Volkswagen Passats and Kia Optimas. Most buyers will start their buying process by considering many vehicles in a given category before zeroing in on a specific model. They are not as brand loyal as a new car buyer. When the buyer is unseccessful locating their first choice, they will substitute another model that meets their personal pricing and driving objective.
If you plan to sell your car any time soon, you should learn something from the lesson the market has delivered. Sometimes it is not just the price that is limiting the number of inquiries you receive. Correcting any of the 4 situations described below should help you achieve that goal.
Improperly Priced Cars do not Sell: If your car is listed for sale on a classified website or even with a for sale sign in the window, your goal should be to sell the vehicle. I talk to hundreds of people selling their vehicles every week and I always get a kick out of folks who tell me that they are going to test the market. I sometimes wonder what that means to them. Are they too lazy to do the homework necessary to determine the selling price for their vehicle or are they hoping for a miracle? Miracles happen in Hollywood in such classics as Miracle on 34th Street. I’ve never seen one in automobile sales.
If it has been a week and you have not received a single call on your listing then you have a problem with your price. A car buyer moves through 4 distinct phases that culminates with a purchase. During the early, discovery phase, shoppers who are just starting to look around and forming opinions about which models to target will call and ask questions such as: “Did you like it?” “Would you buy it again?” If you aren’t getting calls with these types of questions, then the price is way out of range with the market. Learn how to price your used car
Improper or Limited Photos: You need photos to sell a car! It’s true they tell a thousand words! More important than the number of photos is the types of photos shown. You need to show the vehicle from every angle. If there are problems with the vehicle, especially cosmetic problems you need to show them. A buyer is not going to waste their time calling on a listing that lacks essential information. Damage to a vehicle is subjective. Something you have lived with for many years may be a deal breaker to your potential buyer. When you describe damage to your vehicle, you need to show the damage with a photograph.
Missing Information: As simple as this may seem, I am always amazed by the number of people that do not include a complete list of even the most basic items with an online advertisement. Humans are constantly forming subconscious opinions about everything we encounter. Right or wrong this is how our brain works. Whenever I encounter an ad with missing information, I form an opinion that the seller is sloppy or lazy and perhaps treated the item being sold in that manner. I don’t even consider their item and move right on to the next listing!
Undisclosed Problems: The price of a vehicle is primarily determined by the year, make, model, equipment, mileage and condition. The market does not care if it is all freeway miles or was only driven by a little old lady on her way to church and the grocery store.
You may be able to get your phone to ring and even have folks schedule appointments to see your vehicle by leaving out essential information. But, you are wasting everybody’s time including your own when you do that. Horses are not wishes. Buyers are going to learn about all of the warts and flaws with your used car when they show up to look at it. They are not going to fall in love with it and pay you too much money for your problems.
In fact, you are delaying the sale of your vehicle when you market it in this manner. Buyers who would consider a vehicle in your vehicle’s condition have passed it over because it is priced to high for their budget. Buyers looking at vehicles in the price range you have chosen are expecting more than they will find upon inspection. They will be angry, perhaps confrontational and will leave in a hurry. I’ve been there as the aggravated buyer discovering undisclosed flaws and would never consider purchasing from that dishonest person-I am left wondering what else they haven’t told me about or are hiding from me.
Selling a vehicle is not rocket science. You have to do your homework by starting out as a buyer would. Research the market; learn what substitute vehicles are selling for as well as the price of your model. Prepare an ad with proper pictures, description, and pertinent information. Above all else; disclose, disclose, disclose. HAPPY SELLING!
When it comes to the value of a used vehicle, there are many factors that will play a role in determining how much someone is going to pay you for your used car. Some factors are beyond your control, but, many items influencing the value of your vehicle are squarely on your shoulders.
Age and Mileage: Typical mileage on a vehicle ranges between 12,000 to 15,000 miles per year. Any more than that and you are going to see a significant reduction in the price the market is willing to pay you for your used car. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be able to sell a high mileage vehicle. It simply means that the vehicle will have to be priced significantly lower than an identical vehicle with lower miles in order to gain interest from shoppers. Here's some good news for sellers of high mileage, late model, luxury vehicles. Some buyers who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford your model will consider the high mileage vehicle because it is now affordable for them.
Condition: The condition of your vehicle may be the single most important factor that will determine the price a buyer is going to offer you for the car. It is extremely important that your vehicle is impeccably clean and maintained. The tires should have 50% or more tread on them. They should all be the same brand (avoid cheap brands) and the wheels should be clean and complete. All scheduled maintenance should be completed, any broken or chipped glass repaired, all warning lights extinguished, any needed body repairs completed and the interior should be clean and absent of odors and stains. Anything less than near perfect and the buyer will automatically start discounting their offer heavily. Either your price compensates the buyer for the inconvenience of repairs you should perform or they will buy another vehicle.
Accidents: Nearly every buyer today is aware of CarFax and AutoCheck reports that reveal a high percentage of all accidents sustained by a vehicle. They are not 100% accurate and many times a simple parking lot ding that was turned in as an insurance claim will bear the same warning as a high speed collision on a freeway with dual airbag deployment. Yes, we know it’s not fair but it doesn’t change the fact that they are present and pervasive. As a seller, you need to be aware of them and adjust your price accordingly. If you are trying to sell a late model truck with a negative report for the same price as another identical truck in your market, you are in for a rude awakening. Simply deal with it and adjust the price accordingly. You will be much happier and in the end, sell your vehicle much quicker than if you try to ignore this market fact. If your vehicle title carries a salvage, rebuilt or other similar notation, be prepared to discount your vehicle as much as 50% below the value of a similar vehicle without this notation.
Vehicle Use History: CarFax and AutoCheck reports also reveal if your vehicle was used for commercial purposes such as a rental car or taxi, used by a government agency such as police, fire or military. These factors also play a role in determining how much the market will pay you for your used car. The discount you enjoyed when you purchased your used vehicle as a former rental etc. will now get passed on to the next owner. Just be prepared and price your vehicle accordingly. Many states also require the title to carry a notation of this type of former usage and state laws may require you to disclose the use to a prospective buyer.
Supply & Demand: This simple concept is often misunderstood by both buyers and sellers. In the “real world” with “all other things being equal”, supply always equals demand at the market clearing price. Translated into English, it simply means that when you place the correct price on your vehicle, it will sell quickly. Learn how to determine the value of your car here. You will find some notion of supply and demand entering into most of the factors listed here. It’s that important! Many folks assume that a quick sale means you priced your vehicle too low but that could not be further from the truth. You may have to test the market a bit in order to find the correct price (market clearing price) for your vehicle but this has never been easier to do in the history of the world. Today’s technology and access to information provides both buyers and sellers with the tools needed to properly price anything for sale including an automobile. Some factors to be aware of, especially if you are selling a late model vehicle include; rebates and special financing incentives. These factors will pull buyers out of the used car market and into the new car market thus lowering the price you will realize for your vehicle. Economists call this shift in buyer attitude a shift in the demand curve. Nothing has happened to the supply of used “Brand X” (insert your car here) automobiles up for sale. Simply stated there are fewer buyers looking for used Brand X vehicles due to the incentives, therefore Brand X sellers will have to lower their price in order to sell their vehicle.
Style: If your vehicle is a 4 door convertible, most likely there are fewer buyers than if it was a 2 door convertible. The same holds true for 2WD trucks in snowy regions of the country and minivans with seating for 5 instead of the standard 7 or 8 passengers. Being different may do wonders for your personal sense of well being but does little for you when it comes time to sell a used vehicle. When it comes to selling just about anything, being boring and normal will find more buyers than flamboyance. A factor completely out of your control occurs when the manufacturer of your vehicle completely revamps the styling of the vehicle the year after you bought your car. You will be punished particularly hard (in most instances) the newer the vehicle you are selling. Sometimes the manufacturer reads the market incorrectly as in Old Coke vs. New Coke but don’t count on that to bail you out most of the time.
Equipment: Certain factors are givens in the vehicle marketplace and equipment is an area where this creed is particularly true. If you own a vehicle with different equipment than the market is expecting on a vehicle of your type, be prepared to adjust the price accordingly. An example would be a ¾ ton pickup with a regular cab, short bed and 6 cylinder stick shift. That truck may be your definition of ideal but falls short of most used truck buyers’ expectations of a serviceable vehicle. You can sell the truck but the price will need to be adjusted accordingly to find a buyer!
Accessories: This particular factor influencing value is the most misunderstood in the industry. It stems from the fact that when you customize your truck to suit your lifestyle, be prepared for most buyers to disagree with your idea of luxury or necessity. A classic example is the truck with the $6,000 custom stereo and $8,000 lift package. Quite simply, most truck buyers want a truck for a specific purpose and do not want to pay for your luxuries that they do not want or need. Point in fact; many buyers will avoid this customized vehicle due to increased insurance costs and greater probability that a thief will target the vehicle.
Season or Region: Most folks are familiar with the notion of white shoes after Labor Day (maybe not but keep reading to become familiar). There are certain things in life that one should not do. One of those would be trying to sell your Corvette convertible on December 1st in the northeast or midwest regions of the country. Like white shoes, convertibles aren’t used during the winter months. For most buyers they are second cars, toys or luxuries. Very few buyers are looking to purchase a depreciating asset in December that they aren’t going to be able to use until after the Spring Thaw. There are fewer buyers at certain times of year for certain types of vehicles. Try to avoid selling a seasonal vehicle off season or you will end up feeling like Macy’s with a huge clearance sale on your hands. Ouch!
Color: According to vehicle paint giant PPG Industries, white was the leading color on new vehicles sold in North America in 2014. With 22 percent of cars painted white, followed by black (18 percent), gray (16 percent) and silver (15 percent) there wasn’t much room left for the other colors in the rainbow. In fact, only 29% of new cars sold last year were not one of the top 4. You may be in love with your two tone teal and gold car with the bold red pinstripes. And, we are not here to begrudge you this luxury. But, just don’t expect the market to agree with your sense of fashion and intrigue. If nobody is calling, the price is too high! Adjust accordingly.